Waiting times at Calvary Public Hospital’s emergency department may soon be shorter after the ACT Government’s announcement of a $40.5 million injection into the hospital’s infrastructure and services as part of the 2019-20 ACT Budget.
The emergency department, which is currently undergoing expansion to have an additional 22 treatment spaces, will be staffed by a further 46 nurses and doctors.
The $40.5 million over the next four years will also fund two new operating theatres at the Bruce hospital to slice elective surgery waiting lists.
The two new theatres will come online over the coming two years, with one theatre set to receive its first patient in the next financial year and the second the following year.
ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said the funding would provide Calvary Hospital with 81 new doctors, nurses, administration and other health professionals over the next two years, with more than half to head to the emergency department.
Ms Fitzharris said the increased services, including urology, will take some pressure off Canberra Hospital but will also recognise Cavalry as a major public hospital.
“We have for a number of years been looking to increase our investment into Calvary Public Hospital, to strengthen and invest further services delivered on Canberra’s northside,” she said.
“Expanding these services at Calvary will help get people off the waiting list, and allow additional minor day procedures to be carried out at the hospital.
“This investment builds on recent investments by the ACT Government, including the upgrading and expansion of Calvary’s maternity ward, but also is part of the ongoing work that we have of expanding Calvary Hospital.”
Ms Fitzharris said the new theatres would cut waiting times for elective surgery but it is “hard to be precise” to what extent.
“We conduct as many, if not more, emergency surgeries each year,” she said on Wednesday (29 May). “This year, we are delivering record numbers of 14,000 elective surgeries and we will look to increase this slightly in the next financial year and to cut waiting times.
“This investment is absolutely intended to provide more surgeries and to bring down wait times as well, so fewer people are waiting longer. Bringing down wait times is just as important as providing even more elective surgeries so we are balancing both with this major investment.”